Previously on Panel Patter
- Graphic Nonfiction: Ellen T Crenshaw Gives You 10 Voting Quotes (Rob M.)
- Get Tillie Walden's Webcomic "On a Sunbeam" On Your Reading List (Rob M.)
- Walking Down the Secret Path with Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire (Scott C.)
Cover of the Next Week
The flow (pun intended) to Matt Kindt's cover of Dept. H #8 makes this a stunning image. The current set up by the character's hair moves you through this image but it pushes back on itself. There's a lot of tension in this image as Kindt has the hair pushing back on itself. Also, the juxtaposition of the blue of the water and the green of her skin makes nothing about this image calm or serene.
Bonus Cover of the This Week
Look at those colors to Veronica Fish's cover on Slam #1. Just look at them. It's green skin again and it looks great playing against the pink of the rest of the cover. Just superb. This is the kind of cover that would get me to flip through a book.
** “Why Draw Comics About Anything Else?”: The Keiler Roberts Interview (TCJ)-- Rob Clough interviews Keiler Roberts about her work in comics, teaching and parenting.
For example, one page that people respond to in different ways is the one where I’m in the bathroom while naked Xia sits on the toilet. She says “This house is getting naughtier and naughtier.” You can figure out that she’s done something wrong, and maybe I did too. She ends the short conversation with “Don’t hurt me mommy, I’m just a little girl.” Clearly, there’s a lot of context that was left out. Some people laugh at that last line and probably see it as Xia exaggerating. When it happened, it broke my heart. Was she really afraid of me? I probably had forgotten that she was just a little girl and was treating her like a monster. I thought the conversation would have more power out of context, because the context makes it too specific. Many parents probably have a similar moment with their kid, and I wanted it to be relatable.
Erika: I’ve become more confident talking about sex stuff since we first began. Originally, I was very averse to being called a “Sex Educator” because I just didn’t feel friggin’ qualified. I’m not formally educated in any way, I mean, I majored in COMIC BOOKS in college for goodness sake! I’m just a passionate nerd who reads a lot about sex stuff, just like there’s passionate nerds out there who read a lot about Star Wars stuff. Doesn’t mean either of us are qualified to be expert professors of the subject, y’know? All the information in OJST comes straight from Scarleteen.com, PlannedParenthood.org, Wikipedia, and my resource books, like S.E.X. by Heather Corrina (founder of Scarleteen), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives by Ruth Bell, and more. So don’t worry, I AM fact-checking from reputable sources! But I see myself more as an information recycler than an actual sex educator.
** Gene Luen Yang Thinks Superheroes Are for Everyone (New York Times)-- As someone who made his name on American Born Chinese and his recent two-part book on the Boxer revolution, Gene Luen Yang talks to the NYT about his work at DC on Superman-related books.
So much of the monthly superhero market is driven by nostalgia. But at the same time, we live in a world that’s very different than the one we grew up in. The larger readership wants our stories to reflect what America is today. If we care about diversity and representation, then the approach we need is two-pronged: We need new characters establishing new legacies, and we also need characters that use a pre-existing legacy to attract eyeballs. Ultimately, what you do is never going to please 100 percent of the audience. I do think if you tell a great story, maybe you’ll get some of them to switch over.
This and That
Are you an aspiring cartoonist and need some help getting started? Have you been a cartoonist for a while, but need a refresher regimen to get you back into a creative groove? Whether you are interested in graphic memoir, comics journalism, or fantasy genres, this seven-day course is designed to help build your cartooning muscles.
Your Moment of Politics?It's been a hard couple of weeks. Honestly, the election of Donald Trump for President kind of hit us hard. Personally, I'm still not convinced that Hillary Clinton would have been a great President but she was probably the best choice of 2016. But of course, I live outside of Chicago, the swatch of blue amid a sea of red states.
I've been thinking a bit about what to do and think about this. At FilmMaker, Dan Schoenbrun wrote about how all movies are political.
We need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves if the films we are making or helping to make are actually saying the things that need to be said. If they’re making people feel the things they need to feel. If they’re even reaching the people they need to reach, and if not, what we can do to change that.
And following up on that, Indiewire asked a number of film critics to respond to Schoenbrun's piece. Jen Yamato (a critic for The Daily Beast) has an answer that can also easily apply to comics.
Film critics have the power to hold Hollywood accountable for the misogyny, bigotry, and erasure of others that have never disappeared from this country and its pop entertainment, just like we wield the power to critique bad acting and terrible scripts. But most film critics don’t exercise that power. And many critics, like plenty of other humans, can’t see (through) their own veil of privilege. My hope is that we try harder, filmmakers and critics and moviegoers and non-moviegoers alike, to demand better not just for ourselves but for others in the age of President-elect Trump and beyond.
Strangely, I've found my own thoughts and writing in the past few months becoming more political in a lot of ways. Not so much in terms of elections and power but in the ways of beliefs and behaviors. Even this week, my review of Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire's Secret Path feels much more charged than a lot of my writing has before. I'm not saying it's better or even good but just that it's coming from a different place than I've written about much before.
It's most likely a wishy-washy punditry but it's my wishy-washy punditry and I guess I feel comfortable with that. It's where my headspace is right now. And honestly, I hope it's where my headspace is for a long time. I don't want to forget these emotions, both disappointment and nervousness, and that should be a part of the way I look at the world and at comics.
To paraphrase Schoenbrun, comics are political. Superman is political. Doctor Strange is political. Love and Rockets is political. Giant Days is political. Transformers is political. So our writing about these books should be political. If these artists are willing to have a point of view that they are going to try to express through their comics, we should have a point of view about them as well that we try to express through our writing.
To quote a 1984 election ad for President Reagan, it's morning in America. Only in 2016, it's going to be a long days journey to get to a night when we can rest easily.